Swimming at any pace regardless of how well you do it is a fun form of physical activity, but if you want to step it up a notch, you need to master your stroke technique and physical endurance. Here we will share 6 important tips to help you get better at swimming.
What are some benefits of swimming?
Swimming is a great way to improve fitness, sleep, and cardiovascular health. It also reduces stress and boosts mood. To reap the full benefits of your swimming workout it must be done correctly.
Tip 1. Make time each week to swim
The more you swim, the more stamina you will gain and the better your technique will become. Practice makes perfect and if you dedicate time each week to swim, you will improve. Set yourself goals and once you have achieved them make new ones.
Tip 2. Warm-up first
Before doing any exercise, you need to warm up first. It increases the heart rate and gets the blood pumping to prepare you for the workout ahead. You can do this by stretching first for around 5 – 10 minutes then do some moderate-paced laps for the same amount of time.
Tip 3. Swim some laps
If you are wanting to get better at swimming you should focus on the quality of your strokes rather than your pace.
Using your preferred swimming technique, do some laps continuously for 5 minutes without stopping if you can. When swimming a lap of the pool try to get from one end to the other using fewer than 20 strokes. Once you have got the rhythm of your strokes down pat, you can increase the speed. Take a break in between sets to catch your breath and repeat. Continue to do this for 4 rounds. Ensure your strokes are consistent by concentrating on the rhythm and motion your arms and legs are making to glide you through the water.
Tip 4. Work on different stroke techniques
Rather than trying to perfect every stroke at the beginning, it’s easier to work on one at a time and once you have successfully mastered one you can start learning how to do another. Here are the different swimming strokes and an explanation on how to complete them accurately.
Freestyle is probably the most common stroke of all of them. To do this, its important to keep your body as straight as you can, keeping the head and neck in a neutral position, look towards the bottom of the pool when doing this stroke rather than in front of you. The buoyancy of the water should help you to float. When doing a stroke, turn your head and body 30-40 degrees and take a breath from the same side as the arm above the head. Aim to take a breath every 2 to 3 strokes. Kick your feet in unison with your stroke. Flutter kick is the technique used in freestyle and it is small fast kicks with pointed toes.
Kick off the wall to gain momentum, keep the body in a streamline straight position. Starting at the chest with hands together in a praying position, push them away from the body, then pull the arms towards the body with palms facing outwards using a sweeping motion whilst keeping the arms straight to pull you through the water. Bend the elbows to go back to pray position, lift the head to take a breath and repeat. The legs should move in rhythm with the arm stroke using the frog kick technique.
Lay on your back and try to lift your body as high on the surface of the water as you can and relax the neck. The arms are kept straight while rolling the shoulders one at a time to make a full circle. Keep the legs together and kick as fast as you can, taking a breath every cycle.
Position your arms shoulder-width apart in front of you with your palms down. Pull both arms through the water towards your body, rotate the arms out of the water in a forward direction. Lift your head to take a breath each time your arms lift out of the water. Keep your legs together and toes pointed to kick – like a mermaids tail.
4. Flip turns
Flip turns are a technique that is used in competitive swimming to prevent having to stop when starting the next lap and will enable you to complete your laps faster. They are simple to do once you have mastered them. As you are approaching the end of the pool, somersault under the water and push off the wall with your feet to head back in the direction you just came from. Try not to look at the wall but the bottom of the pool instead, to prevent you from slowing down too much.
Tip 5. Make sure you are breathing properly
Not taking sufficient breaths during your swimming strokes will starve your muscles of oxygen and you won’t be able to swim to your full potential. It’s essential to your performance that you regulate your breathing. When you are first starting out you may need to take more breaths than normal, as your stamina improves you can decrease them to the standard amount.
Tip 6. Cooldown
Cooling down regulates your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature and you should take the time to do this after your swimming workout. Including some stretches can reduce the risk of muscles cramps and stiffness. Aim to cool down for at least 10 minutes.
Want to work on your swimming from the convenience of your home?
Having a pool in the backyard means you can work on your swimming any time of the day. No driving to a public pool and waiting for them to open.
We believe that a swimming pool is an investment to only to your home but your health and wellbeing. We want everyone to enjoy swimming, to hear more advice, check sites like FibreglassPoolsSydney for more information.
Please note: The information shared in this article is a guide only. Always consult with your GP before starting a new exercise regime.